Now that the kids are back in school and life is getting back to normal, it’s time to start thinking about direct marketing for the holidays. Too early? It certainly feels that way, but November and December will be here before you know it. You don’t want to miss out on the most profitable time of year because you started planning your direct marketing campaigns too late. Whether you have a physical store or an online business, the holiday season is the perfect time to plan a direct marketing campaign and a great opportunity to generate sales.
Customers start their holiday preparations earlier and earlier each year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have only furthered that trend. They have become so mainstream that what started as 2 days of savings morphed into a 4 day cyber weekend, which in turn morphed into a full cyber week. It starts a few days before Black Friday and ends a few days after Cyber Monday.
Even though shoppers now get a whole week’s worth of savings, Black Friday is still king of the castle when it comes to pre-holiday shopping. Whether you’re planning an email blast or direct mail campaign, make sure your Black Friday campaigns contain the biggest and best promotions you can offer this holiday season.
Don’t hold back on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They are just the precursor to the main round. After the Cyber Week dust settles, you can really focus your direct marketing efforts on Christmas.
Many companies pause their marketing efforts so they can focus on the holidays and decide to pick things up again in the New Year. If you start planning now, you can keep the marketing machine running. Christmas is the perfect time to reach current customers and new prospects with a holiday-themed mail piece.
A simple card is the perfect way to show your appreciation to your customers as well as your vendors. Everyone enjoys receiving a traditional Christmas card and your small token of appreciation will be repaid by displaying that card for all to see.
It is also the perfect time to introduce yourself to potential clients. Make a powerful and personal impact this year, with a simple seasonal greeting and business card.
Many printing companies offer Christmas cards with small business logos printed on them. These are perfect and quite profitable. You get the joy of the card, so it will be displayed, and your logo, so it will be remembered.
Don’t make the Christmas card a complete advertisement for your business or services. Then it becomes nothing more than a promotional piece and will go unnoticed in the rest of the holiday mail. If you have marketing material that you want to present, put it inside the card. You can include an advertising brochure for your business or even include a New Year’s promotion. You can go one step further and include a small gift, such as a branded pen or something similar. You’ll be surprised how far a little gift can go!
After Christmas, the New Year begins with a bang.
The New Year is the perfect time to start thinking about trying out new mailing lists. Changing or simply updating your target market will bring life to your stagnant direct marketing campaign. Try using the intelligence within your current customer list to create a snapshot of your best customers that you can use to help identify your ideal prospects. Not only will this process provide you with a very targeted pool of prospects, but it will also help you gain valuable insight into the demographics of your current customer base, which is always helpful to know.
Whether you’re planning to send an email campaign or a direct mail campaign, remember that colossal amounts of email and correspondence are sent during the holiday season. You don’t want to risk your email or piece of mail getting lost in the chaos. The sooner you take it out, the better chance you have of it opening. If possible, try a combination of direct mail and email. Repetition is very important in direct marketing. The more you can get your offer in front of your prospects, the more successful your direct marketing campaign will be.
The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to give your annual sales one last boost before the end of the year. Although the holidays are still a long way off, having a strong direct marketing plan will help you benefit from the entire holiday season.